It may already be February, but looking back on our Christmas Dinner is worth it nevertheless. Especially when you are planning your next Christmas in sunny Portugal, you may consider staying at the Grande Real Villa Italia. The luxury hotel offered a Christmas Dinner for 55 Euro per Person. We took the opportunity to test the quality of the food and the efficiency of service.
When we decided to spend Christmas in Portugal, we were afraid that Christmas Dinner may be really expensive or not of a good quality. After checking out what is offered in our hotel, the Grand Real Villa Italia, we were surprised really positively.
55 Euro per Person for a four course dinner seemed really fair in our opinion. The menu consisted of a soup as a starter, followed by fish as a second dish and meat as a main dish. Last but not least, there was a dessert buffet offered for all those who were not full after the three hearty dishes.
Starting with delights from the sea
Our Christmas Dinner at the Grande Real Villa Italia began with some waiting time. We were assigned a really bad table, so we opted for another one. It took around ten minutes to prepare that one, so we had to wait outside for some time. Yet, after seating everything went really smooth.
Waiters were taking orders and were accepting special requests as well. The first dish, a rich seafood soup, came after another 15 minutes. It was a nice touch that the ingredients came first, while the soup was added at the table. Like that, we were able to see that all ingredients were fresh. Not any surprisingly, the soup tasted really good.
Fresh octopus with vegetables
After the “Rich fish and seafood soup with a coriander infusion”, we were served the second dish called “Traditional roast octopus and potatoes in a new presentation”. Well, to be honest, I didn’t see any special presentation, but the quality of the octopus and the vegetables were very good.
At this moment, a problem that we also had with the main dish appeared. Due to the waiting time of approximately 20 minutes between each dish, the food was not really hot. It seemed like the food was awaiting us in the kitchen, but the waiters were too slow to bring it to the table in time. Kind of sad as the quality of the food was really good.
Filling suckling pig with mille-feuille
The main dish “Crispy suckling pig with potato and apple mille-feuille, creamy parsley and citrus preserve” was served with a special side dish. We were curious how the mille-feuille would taste as we only knew the dish as a sweet one beforehand.
After some bites, we were pretty sure that it tastes like potato gratin, so nothing too special. Apart from the hype about the mille-feuille, the main dish was a really good once again. The suckling pig was tender, but a little too fatty in my opinion. My mother opted for beef instead.
That one was really tender as well and would have been my first choice in the aftermath as well. Anyway, the main dish was of a good quality, too. The only downer once again was that the dish was not really hot.
Dessert buffet with a Portuguese touch
We really liked the fact that the whole menu was inspired by the Portuguese cuisine. That was obvious at the dessert buffet as well. There were Portuguese cakes and other sweet delights Portugal is famous for as well.
Also, there were some more traditional options like chocolate mousse or Crème brûlée. Even though most of us were already full by the generous portions of the other dishes, we opted to try every single dessert. Even though the Portuguese dishes were not of the taste of everyone, the dessert buffet was really nice nevertheless.
The quality and taste of most delights was amazing, so it was a wonderful ending of our Christmas Dinner at the Grande Real Villa Italia.
Slow service and some minor problems
Overall, we really liked the quality of food and the selection of dishes. Anyway, our Christmas Dinner at the Grande Real Villa Italia was not really flawless. The bad table assigned for us at first, the slow service and the cold dishes were real weaknesses. Even though all employees were friendly, the service seemed too hectic in my opinion.
Moreover, they totally overcharged for the food of the two little kids of my sister. Both got some noodles with butter. Each of the two small dishes was charged with 18 Euro. Way too much in our opinion. All in all, we can recommend the Christmas Dinner at the Grand Real Villa Italia, but there may be better choices out there as well!